Like a well-planned military manoeuvre or a team heading into the Super Bowl, the all-female reboot of Ghostbusters will boast a bench stocked with talent.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the third entry in the Ghostbusters franchise will be directed by Paul Feig, best known for directing Bridesmaids and creating the cult TV series Freaks and Geeks.
Feig has already signed Melissa McCarthy to appear in the film, with Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones currently in negotiations to join her. Feig made his casting choices official last night with a tweet showing a composite picture of all four comedy veterans.
A few hours later, Feig tweeted that the new film is slated for theatrical release on July 22, 2016.
Of course, it's worth pointing out that the original 1984 film Ghostbusters and the 1989 sequel Ghostbusters II worked off the strength of four formidable, capable players assuming four important roles on the poltergeist-chasing team.
In those films, Bill Murray was the obvious choice to play the wiseacre slacker-scientist and de facto team leader Peter Venkman, Dan Aykroyd was perfectly suited to the role of the highly educated but naive Ray Stantz, Harold Ramis was nerdiness personified as the lab rat Egon and Ernie Hudson fit the bill as the sturdy rookie Winston.
So far, the news that Ghostbusters 3 will feature an all-female cast has been warmly received by most media outlets, but will the new film attempt to place the four women into roughly the same roles?
More importantly, are the new Ghostbusters up to the challenge? Consider their comedy track records.
How could anyone not love Kristen Wiig? For nine seasons, she was the best reason to watch Saturday Night Live – remember Gilly? – and her career has only ascended since she left the show in 2012.
Oddly, ever since her breakout film role in Bridesmaids, the winsome Wiig's acting forte has evolved into essaying a completely different performance in each new film, with that portrayal seemingly connected to whomever she's acting opposite.
Wiig was morose, yet still funny, in scenes with Bill Hader in last year's indie hit The Skeleton Twins; she was weird, yet hilarious, as Steve Carell's girlfriend in last year's sequel Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.
In the new film, Wiig would most probably be cast into the Peter Venkman role, if only because of her remarkable versatility.
Arguably the best actress in the new Ghostbusters ensemble – with both an Emmy award and an Oscar nomination under her belt – McCarthy practically stole every scene in Bridesmaids and has effortlessly transferred her sharp comic timing over to the hit CBS sitcom Mike & Molly.
More impressively, McCarthy has that rare ability to make a bad movie better simply with her presence. Critics were less than impressed with the film The Heat (also directed by Feig) in 2013 and last year's Tammy, but in both instances McCarthy was praised for her live-wire performance, and both movies were box-office hits.
In the new ensemble, McCarthy would most likely be cast into the Ray Stantz role.
If the name Kate McKinnon doesn't ring a bell, then you're probably not staying up for Saturday Night Live these days.
Following her years with the comedy troupe Upright Citizen's Brigade and a recurring stint on the cable series The Big Gay Sketch Show, McKinnon joined the main SNL cast in 2012 and has since proved a deft hand at celebrity impressions, as evidenced in her spot-on portrayals of Barbara Walters, Ellen DeGeneres and even Justin Bieber.
At 31, McKinnon is also the youngest actor in the new Ghostbusters quartet, which makes her most likely to assume the neophyte role previously occupied by Winston.
At 47, Jones is the oldest member of the new Ghostbusters ladies club, but she's still a relative neophyte to both acting and comedy.
After nearly two decades of standup, Jones joined SNL as a writer last year, but quickly graduated to full cast-member status. And although she hasn't grown much as a sketch player or celebrity impressionist (her only celeb covered to date being Aretha Franklin), Jones has made her presence felt with brash turns on SNL's Weekend Update segment, where she holds forth on topics ranging from single life to race relations.
Moreover, Jones seems boldly unapologetic in her comedy stylings. Last May, her Weekend Update appearance touching on slavery generated a flurry of negative feedback. Jones responded with a tweet of her own stating, "I'm a comic. It is my job to take things and make them funny to make you think."
For that reason alone, Jones would be the smart choice to take over the Egon role in the new Ghostbusters movie. Every good team needs a fearless thinking person.